The following guest post has been contributed by Jane Victoria King.
Not that I really enjoy basking in the mud, but being Iâ€™m always up for a challenge and am open to trying out new adventures, I signed up for a team building adventure race known today as the Mud Run Ride (formerly the Mud nâ€™Bud, and before that Muddy Buddy Canada). The new owners, Double Deuce Events are a fun group of guys that do all sorts of events. And let me tell you, this was crazy FUN.
When I arrived at Inter River Park in North Vancouver early on Saturday morning, still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes I received a text message from my teammate, Shawn saying sheâ€™d be there at 9:20 a.m. The race was due to start at 10 a.m. and we were using Shawnâ€™s bike. Since I had never done the race before I wasnâ€™t entirely sure what to expect. All I knew was we shared a bike. One of us runs while the other bikes, you switch a couple times and thereâ€™s some mystery challenges in between. Oh, and you have to wear the bike helmet at all times while on the bike.
It didnâ€™t take long after Shawn and I hooked up for me to start feeling a little nervous. While weâ€™re listening to the low-down of how the race will unfold my mouth got really dry. Iâ€™d volunteered to run first before we heard the organizers say, â€œput your strongest runner first!â€
There was no turning back. Off I went at 10 a.m. sharp with the bikers holding back till us runners gained some ground. It was easy gravel/road running until we hit the single-track. I was thinking what we ran would have been really fun on a bikeâ€¦ if you were going downhill. It was a sturdy climb. Rooty, rolly and lots of fun. Who can complain when youâ€™re in the forest amongst the trees?
By the time the first transition came around I was happy to get on the bike! Of course Shawn is taller then me so I had to make many seat adjustments to get it right. The first bike part was pretty straightforward. As their web site said, the course is good for beginners to intermediates so there was a nice balance. I had to remind the person in front of me though to follow the â€˜bikeâ€™ arrows as bikes went one way and runners went another way when we were mid-course on a loop.
Getting off the bike for the next run was a bit of a challenge. My breathing was back to normal but I was really thirsty. Iâ€™d opted to not run with a water bottle or camel pack and there was no water on the course. Note to self for next year â€“ wear the camel pack if itâ€™s a hot day.
The mystery obstacles at the transitions involved looking down or up and coordination. I got them but I had to concentrate. Iâ€™ll leave it at that to keep them a mystery.
My last run transition was really fun. Once I got up the hill there was a nice bit of downhill single-track, again with lots of rocks and roots so you had to be on top of your feet to get all the right lines in when making your way down.
When I got to the final transition, I was on the bike and Shawn was running. I wasnâ€™t sure of the drill and neither was she, so I stuck with her as she ran feeling slightly guilty to be rolling along beside her as she was doing all the work. It was another slightly downhill portion to the course. She finally made me jump ahead to the end, which I did, and let her get her rhythm and pace. It didnâ€™t take long and she was down. The bikes all piled into one place for the final challenge, this one not a mystery. It was the MUD.
I dove in. Head first. Helmet on. Shawn chickened and took her shoes off tiptoeing through the yellow caution tape, meant to keep us low like were in army training! Then there was a final climb up and over before the arch finish line. I didnâ€™t see anything to grab onto and as there was another team fast approaching Shawn gave me a lift up and I turned around to pull her up. We were up now it was over and down and across the finish line. Hand in hand we did it, with a big smile on my face I have to say. Yep. It was crazy fun! Iâ€™ll definitely be back next year for more.
The nice thing about having it at the Inter River Park was the river. The line-up for the hose was long so I followed a bunch of guys down to the river to wash off. The water was just the right temperature to cool me down, wash me off and let me soak.
I was also pleased to note, by signing up early through the Cycle Component Network, organizers contributed a portion of the entry fees to the World Bicycle Relief. A good organization that empowers Individuals by hooking them up with the power of the bicycle.
About Jane: Based in Victoria, BC, Jane Victoria King is an award winning TV producer, photojournalist, mariner, mother, and lover of all things cycling. You can follow her on Twitter @Jane_Victoria.